Welcome to the Wilson Lab at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Our group conducts research on animal behaviour, with a focus on animal communication, predator-prey interactions, and sexual selection. Our research is theory-driven, and we tend to work on questions concerning the underlying mechanisms and functional significance of behaviour. We have worked with a variety of animal species over the years, but the majority of our research has focused on wild birds.

Graduate students in the lab are affiliated with graduate programs in either the Department of Biology or the interdisciplinary program in Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology. If you are interested in joining the lab, please send me a copy of your academic transcript, your CV, and a statement about your research interests.

Lab News:

Listen to Dr. Rick Simpson talk about the findings of our new paper showing that sympatry drives the evolution of visual and vocal signals in wood warblers (link to CBC story). You can read the full article published in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B on our publications page. — January 2021

MSc student Jessika Lamarre officially rolls over into the PhD program. To celebrate, she had her first data chapter published in the Journal of Experimental Biology (read the full article on our publications page), and was awarded a major research grant from the Ocean Frontier Institute for follow-up research this summer. Congratulations x3 Jessika! — January 2021

Paul's Vireo

PhD student Miguel Mejias had his research on vocal evolution in the Vireonidae accepted for publication in Evolution. The paper shows that phylogeny and morphology shape song structure in this diverse avian family. The paper also forms the foundation of his thesis. Congratulations to Miguel and all of the co-authors. — September 2020

Dave receives tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. With wonderful memories of the last six years, he looks forward to an exciting future at Memorial University. — September 2020

Recently graduated MSc student Kaylee Busniuk had part of her thesis research accepted for publication in Animal Behaviour. The paper shows that kleptoparasitic herring gulls target profitable puffins returning to their burrows with fish for their chicks. Congratulations Kaylee! — April 2020

Former Honours student Mohammad Fahmy had his thesis research on the vocal behaviour of ruby-crowned kinglets accepted for publication in the Journal of Avian Biology. It was a tremendous effort involving audio recordings spanning two field seasons in Labrador, Canada. Well done Mohammad! — April 2020

MSc student Jessika Lamarre received the prestigious NSERC CGS M in support of her research on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on avian cognition and behaviour. Congratulations Jessika! — January 2020

© Dave Wilson 2016